What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14 (NASV)
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18 (NASV)
Recently my sister asked if I would like to run a 10K race with her. Up for the challenge and knowing it is more fun to train and run knowing someone is doing it “with” you (even across the miles), I said I would. I printed off a training plan, set the 10K goal in the app on my phone, and started training. The day I was aiming to run the full 10K, it occurred to me that this was not the end of my training. In fact, it was very near the beginning. Completing the distance goal was only the first step in readying myself to run in a race of this distance. Ok, I can complete the distance. Now it is time to finesse, work on my time and how I can better my run.
It is much the same with faith. I am a cradle Catholic. I was born and raised in the Church and have not had that moment where I personally accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He has been since I was born and will continue to be my Lord and Savior. Jesus is the Lord of all and only through His death and resurrection and wonderful mercy am I saved. To me that is as normal and essential as breathing. But knowing Jesus is my Lord and Savior and professing that is only one step to salvation I believe. It is like completing that goal distance.
Now, it is time to know Him better, on a personal level. It is time to finesse.
How do I finesse my faith? By delving deeper into history. By prayer and devotion. By talking with and listening to people of deep faith and learning and growing with them. By keeping myself open to the will of God and where He is calling me to be and what He is calling me to do. By talking about my faith to others.
By doing these things, hopefully when I come to the end of my life on earth, I can say as the Apostle Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)
Dear Lord, Please help me to never be satisfied here on earth. Help me to always strive to know You more deeply and follow You more closely. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.